200 inhabitants, 15 nations, 600 experiments
ISS and shuttle passing in front of the sun
The International Space Station Program’s greatest accomplishment is as much a human achievement as a technological one. The global partnership of space agencies exemplifies meshing of cultural differences and political intricacies to plan, coordinate, provide, and operate the complex elements of the station. The program also brings together international flight crews and globally distributed launch, operations, training, engineering, communications networks, and scientific research communities.
Maintaining the ISS is an arduous task, requiring an international fleet of vehicles and launch locations to rotate crew members; replenish propellant; provide science experiments, necessary supplies, and maintenance hardware; and remove and dispose of waste. All of these important deliveries sustain a constant supply line crucial to the operation of the station.
ISS is an unprecedented achievement in global human endeavors to conceive, plan, build, operate, and utilize a research platform in space. With the assembly of the space station at its completion and the support of a full-time crew of six, a new era of utilization for research is beginning. During the space station assembly phase, the potential benefits of space-based research and development were demonstrated; including the advancement of scientific knowledge based on experiments conducted in space, development and testing of new technologies, and derivation of Earth applications from new understanding.
Installing a Room With a View
In the grasp of the Canadarm2, the cupola was relocated from the forward port to the Earth-facing port of the International Space Station’s newly installed Tranquility node. The cupola is a robotic control station with six windows around its sides and another in the center that will provide a panoramic view of Earth, celestial objects and visiting spacecrafts. With the installation of Tranquility and cupola, the space station is about 90 percent complete.
Foreman and Robert L. Satcher Jr. (out of frame) installed a spare S-band antenna structural assembly to the Z1 segment of the station’s truss, or backbone. During the six-hour, 37-minute spacewalk, Foreman and Satcher also installed a set of cables for a future space-to-ground antenna on the Destiny laboratory.
Happy New Year ISS!